Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from French Dassault Aviation

Photo: AP

Egypt's military confirmed it ordered 30 Rafale jets from French defence firm Dassault Aviation to shore up "national security", AFP reported. The order, which follows the 2015 purchase of 24 Rafale jets, will be financed through a 10-year loan, the military said in a statement late Monday.

Investigative site Disclose had reported earlier Monday that the order was part of a secret mega-defence deal worth almost €4 bn ($4.8 bn.

Egypt is the world's third biggest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Its arms purchases grew by 136% over the last decade and it has diversified its sourcing beyond the US, buying military equipment from France, Germany and Russia, the institute said in a report released earlier this year.

The new Rafale deal "reinforces the strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt," French Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cairo has positioned itself as a bulwark of stability in the region as the conflict in its western neighbour Libya grinds on. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron enjoy a close relationship built on mutual security interests.

 

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